Citations: Barratt, C. D., Lawson, L. P., Bittencourt-Silva, G. B., Doggart, N., Morgan-Brown, T., Nagel, P., & Loader, S. P. (2017). A new, narrowly distributed, and critically endangered species of spiny-throated reed frog (Anura: Hyperoliidae) from a highly threatened coastal forest reserve in Tanzania. Herpetological Journal, 27, 13-24.Hansen, M. C., P. V. Potapov, R. Moore, M. Hancher, S. A. Turubanova, A. Tyukavina, D. Thau, S. V. Stehman, S. J. Goetz, T. R. Loveland, A. Kommareddy, A. Egorov, L. Chini, C. O. Justice, and J. R. G. Townshend. 2013. “High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change.” Science 342 (15 November): 850–53. Data available on-line from:http://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest. Accessed through Global Forest Watch on March 02, 2017. www.globalforestwatch.orgFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Agriculture, Amphibians, charcoal, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forests, Frogs, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, New Species, Rainforests, Research, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis The new frog was collected in 2001 from Ruvu South Forest Reserve in Tanzania, in habitat atypical for spiny reed frogs.The scientists who collected it couldn’t identify it in the field. Fourteen years later, they sequenced the frog’s DNA, which revealed that it was a species previously unknown to science.The new species is represented by just one museum specimen. Recent attempts to find more in Ruvu South Forest Reserve failed to turn up the sought-after frogs, leaving researchers worried the species is being wiped out by dramatic deforestation affecting the reserve and surrounding areas. You don’t have to travel far to discover a new species – just head to the natural history museum.At least that’s how Chris Barratt, a doctoral student at the University of Basel in Switzerland, discovered Hyperolius ruvuensis, the newest species to be named in the clad of so-called spiny-throated reed frogs. The species has been preserved in the Museum of Natural History in London for more than a decade, but was never properly examined and described, Barrett says. That is, until now.“It sat in the museum for 14 years before we took it out,” Barratt told Mongabay. “We were hoping it would still have DNA [needed for identification], and it did.”Barratt and his colleague had a hunch that the museum specimen of now-named H. ruvuensis – then listed as another species in the spiny-throated clad – was indeed a new frog. The unusual pattern of the frog’s spines was the first clue, which prompted Barratt to analyze specimen’s DNA and morphology. Published last month in the Herpetological Journal, his analysis revealed that the specimen is in fact a new species of spiny-throated reed frog, a clade of seven species named for what he describes as a “beard” of spines, which serve a purpose still unknown.The “new” species was collected more than 15 years ago in Ruvu South Forest Reserve, a small protected area just outside of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. At the time, David Emmett – then a wildlife biologist with the NGO The Society for Environmental Exploration – was surveying the reserve.The newly discovered Ruvu spiny reed frog (Hyperolius ruvuensis)from Ruvu South Forest Reserve has never been photographed in the wild and is only known from museum specimens collected in 2001. Photo by Chris Barret“One evening I could hear this reed frog calling,” he told Mongabay. “And I remember thinking: ‘Well, that’s strange. They shouldn’t be here’.”That’s because reed frogs hadn’t been known to inhabit lowland, coastal forests – the very landscape that typified Ruvu South Forest Reserve. This piqued Emmett’s interest, so he waded into the reeds, where he found several frogs that he’d never seen before.Like any wildlife biologist would do, he turned to field guides for answers, he said.“Every time you find anything, you look at the books,” Emmett said. “Normally, you can identify something straight away, but when you’ve gone through to the last page of the book and the frog is still not there, you start to get excited.”He reached the last page, but still couldn’t find a match. Sensing a possible species discovery, he collected a few of the frogs and sent them off to London, where they would later be identified.Ruvu South Forest Reserve is an unusual place to discover a new species, the authors say. Indeed, scientists typically find new species in unexplored, intact, and isolated habitats – and none of these terms describe the reserve. According to Barratt, that’s part of what makes this discovery especially exciting.“This discovery shows us that even a small forest reserve right next to a busy city that’s been surveyed quite a lot can yield new species,” he said. “For me, that’s really exciting.”But it’s alarming as well, the researchers write. That’s because H. ruvuensis is likely “microendemic” to the reserve, meaning it’s found nowhere else on the planet, according to the study. In other words: if habitat in the reserve is wiped out, the species will be, too.And habitat loss is already well underway. Tree cover data from the University of Maryland reveals that more than 3,000 hectares – or 13 percent – of the reserve’s forests were cleared between 2000 and 2014. Research by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG), a local NGO, points to fire and illegal charcoal production as the primary drivers.Around 13 percent of the tree cover in Ruvu South Forest Reserve was lost between 2001 and 2014. Currently, forests remain in around 66 percent of the reserve.Hyperolius ruvuensis hasn’t been seen in the wild since it was first found by Emmett’s team in 2001, despite recent attempts to track it down.But that doesn’t mean the species is extinct, the researchers say – more research is needed to make that determination. For now, the authors recommend that H. ruvuensis be classified as Critically Endangered by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a category saved for species that are facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, like the Sumatran orangutan.The future of H. ruvuensis – and other species in the reserve – relies on stronger enforcement of protected area laws, Barratt says. And it’s now or never, he adds.“There has to be something done in a way to mitigate people going into the forest and cutting a trees down,” he said. “It’s really at the stage now where it’s completely critical that they do something.”Emmett, now a Senior Vice President at Conservation International, agrees on the state of urgency.“To me this species being discovered and potentially disappearing is a rallying cry to the urgency of the need [for] better protected nature because we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone,” he said. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored
The American Soybean Association (ASA) is pleased with actions taken yesterday in the House Commerce Committee to make biodiesel eligible for use in federal, state and other public fleets. The committee passed an amendment to the Energy Policy Act (EPACT) of 1992 that will allow transit fleet operators to gain credits each year for their use of renewable biodiesel. The legislation would increase demand for soybeans and could add 11 cents to the price of every bushel of U.S. soybeans.”The House Commerce Committee’s decision to give EPACT credits for use of biodiesel is a good fit for soybean producers and vehicle fleet operators,” said ASA President Mike Yost, a soybean producer from Murdock, Minnesota. “Producers will benefit from the new domestic market, which is especially important in a year like 1998 when the farm economy is suffering. Meanwhile, vehicle operators will have the option of using this domestically produced renewable fuel to help them comply with EPACT’s goals of reducing America’s dependence on imported fuels.”Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL) and Karen McCarthy (D-MO) have championed biodiesel legislation this year and introduced H.R. 4017 that would classify a blend of 80 percent diesel and 20 percent biodiesel (B-20) as an eligible fuel under EPACT. Yesterday, Shimkus, McCarthy and Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced an amendment that is supported by the natural gas industry as well as soybean producers. The amendment would give credits to vehicle fleet operators for use of biodiesel. The Senate agreed to designate B-20 as an alternative fuel on July 16.EPACT requires public fleet managers to increase the share of vehicles capable of operating on alternative fuels to 10 percent by the year 2000 and 30 percent by 2010. However, petroleum use in this sector is steadily increasing because EPACT does not require fleets to actually use alternative fuels. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that petroleum import dependence will rise from about 40 percent in 1992 to almost 60 percent by the year 2005.Yesterday’s action will allow fleet operators to use biodiesel as an alternative fuel and to receive credits under EPACT during each year they use biodiesel rather than just when they purchase an alternative-fuel vehicle. They will also receive more credits for use of biodiesel in heavy-duty trucks and buses that burn more petroleum than passenger cars.Biodiesel is not a threat to any alternative fuel’s market share because fleets already are failing to meet their vehicle purchase requirements at the same time those requirements are continuing to increase. The legislation does not give a tax break to biodiesel nor does it mandate that biodiesel be used. It simply gives biodiesel an opportunity to compete as an alternative fuel.Enactment of the biodiesel legislation could add 11 cents to the price of every bushel of U.S. soybeans. Here’s how: The government’s fleets include more than 375,000 buses, 295,000 medium and heavy-duty trucks and a large numbers of off-road vehicles. If the fuel used in these mostly diesel-powered vehicles were allowed to count toward EPACT’s light-duty vehicle purchase mandates, they would require more than 1.5 billion gallons of fuel annually. If biodiesel blends were permitted under EPACT, a 20 percent biodiesel blend running in just 10 percent of these EPACT vehicles would use 30 million gallons of neat (100%) biodiesel each year. This market would absorb 219 million pounds of soyoil and support the price of oil by 1 cent a pound. Because there are 11.4 pounds of oil in a bushel, this would push up the price of soybeans by over 11 cents per bushel.